You might benefit from either a little more pull or better light-gathering. For the former, Nikons 10x42 Monarch ATBs (US$380, A$505) are only a few dollars more and offer 25 percent better magnification than the 8x42 model. Browning makes a similar binocular, again for only slightly more dough. And, interestingly, the 8x42 models actually are slightly heavier. Binoculars with a 50mm objective diameter will gather a bit more light than those with 42mm, so Nikons 7x50 Sports and Marine binocular (US$368, A$489) offers that attribute in a waterproof set. Id also look at the new 10x40 Predator Pro by Steiner (US$400, A$532; www.steiner-binoculars.com), which are waterproof and have optics designed to make wildlife stand out against green backgrounds. I really like Steinerstheyre well-made, with excellent glass.
The votes are in: Check out the winners of Outside's 2006 Gear of the Year awards, including the year's hottest digital cameras and GPS units.
Filed To: Binoculars and Telescopes